Police: Man, protest marchers exchange gunfire; 1 hurt

August 25, 2020 GMT

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Gunfire erupted Monday night between a group of marchers on their way to Washington, D.C., from Milwaukee and a rural Pennsylvania resident who claimed they wouldn’t leave his business’ parking lot, police said.

One demonstrator was wounded by bird shot in the gunfire exchange in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, police said. The man was treated at a hospital and released.

The resident had reported the gathering at about 11:20 p.m. in the parking lot of his business, which is across from his home, before he and another person confronted the group of about 30 who were traveling by foot and car to raise awareness for the police killing of George Floyd, state police said.


“The confrontation escalated, and gunshots were exchanged between the two and the activists,” Trooper Brent Miller said.

A shotgun, shells, a semi-automatic pistol and 9mm shells were recovered, Miller said. No one was in custody Tuesday and no charges were immediately filed.

In a video posted early Tuesday morning to Facebook, marcher Tory Lowe said the group had parked to organize before they walked up an incline when a man emerged from a house and started shooting at them with a rifle, firing at least seven shots.

“He was like three feet away from us shooting and I told him there was a minister here,” Lowe said in a video posted to Facebook.

“He started talking to us and talking about God and then tried to shake our hands and stuff like that. ... He just started talking to us like nothing ever happened, like he never shot at us or nothing,” Lowe said.

The group began marching Aug. 4 and planned to arrive in the nation’s capitol by Friday, the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

Earlier in the march, Lowe, Milwaukee activist Frank “Nitty” Sensabaugh, one of the march’s organizers, and another marcher were arrested in Indiana after police said they were blocking traffic on a highway.